Earlier today someone on a photo group on FB posted about Pricing for catalogue image photography and i thought i’d add my response to that in the hopes it would spark a discussion and help others find answers and ask more questions if they had any.
This was the question:
Hello Looking for advice. I was asked to do a catalogue (not my area of expertise) for a mattress/Hardware store. I’ll end up with more or less a 100 products that need to be photographed, edited and photoshopped to a plain backdrop. How do I work out my pricing?
The way i have structured my costs is as follows:
Photographer fee (Setup, shoot, breakdown. Images not included.)
Post-production (RAW conversion & edit. Cost per image.)
Equipment required (lighting)
Travel (From Midrand / Kyalami area)
That covers your time on location, your equipment needed and travel time. If it is a full day shoot, i do not charge travel.
Then it comes down to your post production. You need to work out how long it will take to process each image, then to deep etch each image. (Assume 10min per image x 100 images = 1000min = 16.6 hours.) You can then apply your hourly rate to that (Assume R800/hr x 17 = R13600) that means about R136 per shot for post production.
Of course, you can also go the route as follows:
Day rate + equipment + post = cost per image if that is an easier figure for the client. Again, assumed: R6400 (8xR800) + R1000 + R13600 = R210 per image.
If you don’t know your hourly rate, then you need to determine that based on your costs, equipment, marketing, rent, etc, etc which is another discussion.
If you have any questions or suggestions, post them here and lets see how you would answer this question.
That’s really interesting Quintin, do you always charge separately for equipment + day rate and then the post production of the images? What is your thinking behind that? Does it allow for different post production prices?
It depends on the project – events, products, portraits, food are all slightly different in their requirements. I also want to show clients how the fee is broken down, for example if you quote 20k for a project, they would want to know what goes into that cost.
So by breaking it down it helps the client see the cost breakdown AND it helps me work out the costs so that i am making a profit and not forgetting something.
You need to know that your costs are being covered and you are making money. I should be itemising the camera equipment, but that would be a step too far for the client i think. My fee covers my time, post covers the post production required for the project, equipment covers lighting (Should have cameras, but i don’t – kinda covered in my fee…)
Whatever you do ou need to make sure you include enough to make a profit after your costs, marketing, hosting, insurance etc or you are just getting poorer and won’t be able to upgrade or buy new gear when you need to.
The video industry does it very well and breaks down everything: Director, Camera operator, Camera 1, Lens 1, Gimbal, Lighting, Sound recording equipment, Editor hours, titles, Music, etc, etc.
I think this is a great way of doing it, I have often thought about breaking down my costs, but I’m always concerned people will try and remove things that they don’t think I need – like having 2 lights instead of 3, and it always seems to work out more when you cost it like this. I think when we start we just assume that skills like editing should be included, but I’m coming to understand more and more that not every photography has the same level of skill and if mine is superior to another’s, then i should be compensated for that. Thanks for that Q, very interesting.
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